IFC proposes "Greek Orientation" program

By Siobhan Murray

Writer

 

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) has proposed a six-week “Greek Orientation” aimed at providing first-year students with an early introduction to Greek Life. The main goal would be to reshape the notion that Greek Life’s only purpose is to provide social opportunities.
The IFC and the Panhellenic Council are working together to make these changes to the process of “going Greek.” The initiative would give first-year students a better understanding of what membership in a Greek organizations entails.
“[We want it so that] decisions about Greek Life go beyond the stereotypes that the social culture connects with them,” IFC President Pat Zailckas ’13 said.
The change comes as a response to the University’s recent Campus Climate Task Force Report, in an effort to improve the image of the Greek community on campus.
“The recruitment process for Greek Life needs to be improved,” Zailckas said.
IFC looks to help rising sophomores to avoid coming back to school and literally being “rushed” into their decision about where they feel they belong. IFC is working hard to ensure that students make balanced decisions and transform the campus climate into a healthier environment.
The initiative could help prospective members answer imperative questions such as:  Is Greek life for me? What should I look for in an organization? Which philanthropy organization does each chapter support? Will Greek life impact my academics? Are there Safe Space organizations on campus? What diversity opportunities can Greek life offer me? How can I prove to my parents that joining a Greek organization can open windows of opportunity, and that it isn’t all about the partying?
These types of questions are legitimate for many first-years.
“As of now, I know there’s a bunch of fraternities, but I don’t actually know much about them,” Mitch Kulczycki ’15 said.
“Right now, information about Greek organizations is based solely on social reputations, word-of-mouth, and the frat guys themselves. Any effort to change this situation can’t hurt, because even those who think they know a lot about a fraternity may need to know more before making a decision,” Anthony Gingerelli ’15 said.
The proposition is still in the early stages of planning and lacks a formal plan, but IFC plans to work throughout February to develop its ideas. Faculty members Amy Badal, associate dean of students, Kevin Foster, assistant director of residential education for fraternity affairs, and Jackie Petrucci, assistant director of residential education for sorority affairs, have been involved in the process.
Many have raised concerns about the program and its development.
“Any organization has to be careful whenever it mandates any kind of programs,” said Michael Davis ’13, member of Chi Phi Fraternity. “If it is not pushed in the most effective and appropriate manner, the goal of a proposal can get lost. This program needs to keep in mind the many opinions of those involved in Greek organizations in order to get people excited about participating.”
Change will be difficult, but may be nonetheless necessary.
“Bucknell is certainly on the cusp of a new era,” Zailckas said.
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